Plans for a four-story, 75-unit apartment building were unveiled at Monday night’s Alexandria City Council meeting.
It will be located between Highway 29/North Nokomis Street and North Maple Street, south of Darling Avenue and north of First Avenue, which is a dead end street.
The council approved four actions related to the project – a planned unit development, conditional use permit, zoning district amendment and a street vacation, First Avenue.
The developer, John Sampson with Sampson Construction in Lincoln, Nebraska, has a cabin on Lake L’Homme Dieu and he told the planning commission that he’s noticed the need for apartment buildings in Alexandria.
The complex would offer a mix of efficiency and one- and two-bedroom apartments – 15 open market units and 60 units for those 55 and older.
The project also includes underground parking, a workout room, community space and a gathering kitchen.
The project falls within the city’s density requirements, according to City Planner Mike Weber. The total size of the site, 98,466 feet, would allow up to 39 units for general occupancy use or up to 98 units for elderly housing.
The site will have pedestrian and vehicle access from Darling Avenue and First Avenue. A portion of First Avenue would be vacated to become a private drive.
The area has no storm sewer and a history of flooding problems but the developer said the project would help reduce runoff from the property and he would work with the city on a drainage plan.
The project was approved with 14 conditions. Some highlights:
The developer must either install a public sidewalk along the south side of Darling Avenue from Maple Street to Nokomis, or in light of a street and utility reconstruction project planned on those two streets next year, agree to have the city make the sidewalk and agree to reimburse the city for direct engineering and construction costs.
A final drainage plan should be reviewed and approved by the city engineer.
The developer will pay a park dedication fee of $35,500.
First Avenue must be vacated in its entirety.
Two off-street parking stalls are required for each general occupancy unit and one off-street parking stall for each unit for those 55 and older.
Water service lines to the existing homes on First Avenue and Darling Avenue will need to be terminated at the water main by the developer.
Council member Bobbie Osterberg said some residents in the area were not informed about the project because state law only requires sending notices to those living within 350 feet of the project. She said the council should come up with a better way of notifying more people in the neighborhood.
Mayor Sara Carlson agreed and suggested having a brainstorming work session about how to improve the notification process.
Osterberg also suggested having the developer meet with residents in the area to explain the project. Weber said he could contact the developer and request he host an informational meeting.
In other planning and zoning related action, the council:
Approved a revised final plat for Whispering Meadows, a project of Slowing Down Investments. The development, which includes 18 townhomes, is on a 2.67 acre site on the southeast corner of Voyager Drive and Anderson Way, about a block north of Casey’s convenience store. The revisions allow more room for sun porches.
Approved a revised final for the Batesole Addition. The final plat for the project was approved in September 2015, subject to one condition – a delayed park cash contribution of 10 percent of the land value until the parcel was replatted or redeveloped at additional density. After the passing of property owner Virgil Batesole last year, the plat needed to be revised because there are new owners and new easements on the property, according to Weber.